Category Archives: Cryptopia

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Cryptopia Relaunching New Zealand Dollar Stablecoin

Cryptopia has announced that it is relaunching the New Zealand Dollar stablecoin (NZDT) in Q1 2019. The exchange has a daily trading volume in excess of USD 2 million and has been a hub of altcoin trading and mining activity since it launched in 2014.

The NZDT was originally launched in 2017, with daily trading volume rallying to NZD 1 million per day. This spooked ASB, the bank that Cryptopia was working with, since proper know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws were not in place. Fortunately, the orderly termination of the NZDT stablecoin gave customers a month to convert their NZDT back to NZD.

Apparently, Cryptopia has now secured a bank account with an undisclosed bank and is in talks with government regulators to make sure the NZDT is not abruptly terminated again. Regulators are reportedly favorable towards the stablecoin.

It is difficult for New Zealander cryptocurrency traders to enter the crypto space. Fees are high and it takes days to deposit NZD into an offshore exchange. Campbell Pentney from the Bell Gully law firm said, “Let’s assume blockchain takes off and has amazing projects all over the world. Without an NZ dollar entry point, New Zealanders will find it hard to invest in these projects directly. Because getting money from your bank here into one of these cross-border exchanges takes days and involves big fees.”

This is why the NZDT became so popular. The process is relatively quick and the fees are lower than when sending fiat to an offshore exchange. The NZDT allows New Zealanders to buy cryptocurrency worldwide on any exchange that integrates the wallet.

Pentney said, “Not having them [a New Zealand Dollar stablecoin] matters hugely. It was going great guns, growing massively fast, and then suddenly there was no banking access. People are saying: ‘how do I buy Bitcoin?’”

Currently, there are only a few cryptocurrency exchanges in New Zealand that accept NZD deposits directly but their volumes are low and the lack of liquidity is not optimal for trading.

 

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Developers Rake in Million-Dollar Sweeteners Despite Slump

Despite slumping bitcoin prices in 2018, the cryptocurrency space has continued to see a huge development in a market lacking top-level expertise, according to an interview in the Wall Street Journal.

Ripple chief cryptographer David Schwartz pointed out that one developer on his team had recently received two USD 1 million signing bonus offers, one from a crypto startup and the other from a blockchain tech company headhunting for blockchain expertise, according to Business Insider.

According to Finder.au, 4,500 job openings with the terms “blockchain”, “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” in the title have been posted on LinkedIn this year, an increase up to May of this year of 151%  over 2017. This compared to 2016 when only 645 openings were posted.

The eye-watering signing bonuses for crypto and blockchain developers with just a few years of experience is unusual in any tech company, despite bonus schemes being the norm with top tech companies, according to recent TeamBlind figures. Its survey revealed that 67% of tech companies questioned received a bonus but only 11% received an amount over USD 100,000.

One of the reasons for the spike in bonuses was due to a surge in demand in December 2017, prompting exchanges to scale up their operations in order to meet customer demand, particularly as the funds were readily available to do so.

Cryptopia, a relatively small New Zealand exchange, started in 2017 with two staff members and finished with about 100, with plans to hire many more. Coinbase aims to double its headcount in 2018 with top talent, while Kraken plans to quintuple it from 200 to 1,000.

Juha Mikkola, co-founder of Wyncode Academy, a coding school, told Business Insider he knows of developers being paid double the going rate for their blockchain experience, claiming, “It’s not just tech companies that need this talent, it’s real-estate, non-profits, and banks.”

There is a shortage of talent and it’s more of a headache than Bitcoin’s volatility, according to Miha Grcar, the head of business development for Bitstamp: “Globally, the pool of talent – people with experience in blockchain and distributed-ledger technology – is somewhat limited… This is a big challenge.”

Ripple’s David Schwartz had the last word: “The hiring packages have gotten insane.”

 

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